By Chuck Ross –
A federal appeals court ruled this week that a former business partner of Hunter Biden must face sentencing for his role in a scheme to defraud a Native American tribe in South Dakota.
The three-judge panel overturned a lower court’s decision to throw out charges against Devin Archer, the former Biden business associate.
Devon Archer will face sentencing on Jan. 21, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday.
Archer, who advised John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, was convicted at trial on June 28, 2018, on conspiracy and securities fraud charges related to a scam involving a $60 million bond offering for the Wakpamni Lake Community Association, an affiliate of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Judge Ronnie Abrams, who handled the case, overturned Archer’s conviction on Nov. 15, 2018, saying there was insufficient evidence to show that Archer was aware of the bond fraud.
The appellate court overruled the decision, saying in their decision that “the district court abused its discretion in vacating the judgment and granting a new trial.”
The appellate judges said that Archer was aware of “the general nature and extent of the scheme and intended to bring about its success.”
Archer met with then-Vice President Joe Biden on April 16, 2014 days before Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings.
A Senate report released last month identified multiple wire transfers to bank accounts and companies co-owned by Archer and Biden that were flagged for suspicious financial transactions. The report said that Burisma wired more than $3.5 million from May 2014 to February 2016 to Biden and Archer’s company.
Republicans have questioned Biden’s role at Burisma because he joined the company shortly after his father took over as the Obama administration’s main liaison to Ukraine. Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, were under investigation in the U.K. for bribery at the time Hunter Biden was a director for the company.
The report did not reveal evidence that Joe Biden altered U.S. policy or intervened in order to help Burisma. But the report cited testimony from two State Department officials who said they told other U.S. officials that Hunter Biden’s affiliation with Burisma undercut the Obama administration’s efforts to fight corruption in Ukraine.
Hunter Biden was not implicated in the Wakpamni investigation that ensnared Archer’s, but evidence released in the case showed that Archer’s business partners touted their connections to the former vice president’s son.
“Hunter Biden works for [Archer]. So we’ve got the top-level politicos with us. All of my guys, is as top tier as it gets,” said Bevan Cooney, who was also convicted in the Wakpamni scam.
“Well, you know — but you see that this is who we’re doing business with? You don’t get more politically connected and make people more comfortable than that.”
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